Environment Institute

This is a big week for the Centre of Applied Conservation Science!
Conservation International members are in Adelaide to hold their AGM ahead of the launch of the centre at Union House, North Terrace Campus this Friday.

PhD candidate Jarrod Hodgson, who is a researcher at the Unmanned Research Aircraft Facility gave us a preview of the talk he will give at the launch:

Ecologists are increasingly using technology to improve the quality of data collected on wildlife, particularly for assessing the environmental impacts of human activities. Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), commonly known as drones, are widely touted as a cost‑effective way to collect high quality wildlife population data, however, the validity of these claims is unclear. So, Jarrod Hodgson, a member of the Centre for Applied Conservation Science, gathered a flock of researchers from the University of Adelaide, Monash University and the Australian Antarctic Division, and #EpicDuckChallenge took flight.

Using life-sized seabird colonies containing a known number of replica birds, the team assessed the accuracy of drone‑facilitated wildlife population monitoring in comparison with the traditional ground-based counting method. The results show that drone-derived data are, on average, between 43% and 96% more accurate than the traditional ground-based collection method. We also demonstrated that counts from this remotely sensed imagery can be semi-automated using computer vision techniques.

Jarrod will present a suite of results from this project, and discuss the benefits of using a technique with increased accuracy for managing wildlife populations.

See Jarrod’s talk, DEWNR representatives, Prof Sean Connell and Phil Weinstein and the Director of Applied Conservation Science Prof Lian Pin Koh talks in the full program.

Reserve your place at the Launch through Eventbrite

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Liz Reed

Undergraduate Bachelor of Sciences students at the University of Adelaide travelled to Naracoorte for a private, upclose look at both the caves and the fossils found within them. Forty six students who were enrolled in the Evolution of the Australian Biota course had a four day field trip to the UNESCO World Hertiage Listed caves. Environment […]

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The Naracoorte caves were featured on SBS nightly news in September this year. The story was filmed down in the Naracoorte caves and SBS spoke to Environment Institute member Dr Liz Reed about the important work being carried out in the cave systems. Dr Liz Reed, Dr Lee Arnold and Professor Robert Hill were PIs on […]

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South American Horned Frog

This month’s Science in the Pub held at the Rob Roy Hotel has a focus on ecology. Environment Institute member Dr Marc Jones who is an ARC DECRA Fellow, and Honorary researcher at the South Australian Museum is speaking this Friday. Dr Jones has received wide spread media coverage this year with his most recent […]

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A study published in the Journal of Mammology and featured as a news story in Nature, has names a new species of mammal. Myotis attenboughi is a new species of bat from Trinidad and Tobago, it is the only mammal species endemic to both the island of Tobago and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago This […]

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Ancient DNA extracted from fossil bones and museum specimens has shed new light on the mysterious loss of the Tasmanian tiger (thylacine) from Australia’s mainland.   The University of Adelaide study, published in the Journal of Biogeography, traces the history of thylacine populations over the last 30,000 years.   The researchers from the University’s Australian […]

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Below is a guest post from Honours student Charlotte Nitschke about her research and field work on sea snake species diversity in Western Australia. Charlotte is supervised by Dr Kate Sanders, Dr Vinay Udyawer (Australian Institute of Marine Science) and Dr Mathew Hourston (WA Dept of Fisheries), with valuable partnerships with local commercial prawn trawlers. […]

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The number of people displaced by war and persecution is at an all-time high. As needs grow, governments are struggling to find responses that are sustainable at scale, and international institutions are failing. Camps and boats have too often become the dominant focus of policy, perpetuating an assumption of refugees as inevitably vulnerable or threatening. […]

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The Scientific Reports article on the bite force of the extinct Horned Frog dubbed Beelzebufo has received worldwide media attention over the weekend. These results were gained from a model based on the South American horned frogs from the living genus Ceratophrys, and scaled to the large Madagascan extinct frog. These results indicate the Beelzebufo […]

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South American Horned Frog

Scientists say that a large, now extinct, frog called Beelzebufo that lived about 68 million years ago in Madagascar would have been capable of eating small dinosaurs. The conclusion comes from a study of the bite force of South American horned frogs from the living genus Ceratophrys, known as Pacman frogs for their characteristic round […]

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